On Caring Coexistences

As members of the feminist art collective Maternal Fantasies the lecturers propose the ‘aesthetics of care’ as the basis for inter-species coexistence.

The workshop explores autobiographical and bodily experiences as material. We will use relational body/voice practices in order to investigate caring adult-child(ren) relationships. One the one hand, we will use a mixture of techniques from contact improvisation; viewpoints as well as performative exercises by Augusto Boal. On the other hand, we will include artistic methods and practices developed by Maternal Fantasies in order to create fantastical scenes/images of our performative explorations using photography while carefully integrating the children into our artistic investigations and working process.

The workshop will be an explorative journey using the maternal* as a still unknown artistic territory, a daring experiment without disciplinary ties, but close links to relational body/voice practices, performative exercises and children ?s games. Additionally, we will develop with the participants a creative skill set DIY style, building body extensions as props to be used in our performative inter-species explorations. Each session will end with a short collective, creative writing exercise in order to form our individual reflections on ‚aesthetics of care‘ as the basis for inter-species coexistence.

Final outcome will be a series of staged photographs and collages using excerpts of the creative writing exercises.

* The international, peer-reviewed, scholarly online journal ‘Studies in the Maternal’ understands the maternal as lived experience, social location, political and scientific practice, economic and ethical challenge, a theoretical question, and a structural dimension in human relations, politics and ethics.


Day 1

  • Aesthetics of care: Introduction to the topic, warm-up, and performative exercise. Focus: Spatial Relationship. 
  • Drawing session
  • Design of body extensions in DIY style

Day 2

  • Warm-up and performative exercises. Focus: Caring/Suspensions. 
  • Analysing body extension
  • Collective creative writing/listening session

Day 3

  • Exploring Berlin: field trip, excursion. Depending on the weather, one location outdoors, otherwise indoors.
  • Performative exercise and children’s games as tools of collective image production (photo session 1).

Day 4

  • Warm-up and performative exercises: Rainbow of desire
  • Performative exercises and children’s games as tools of collective image production (photo session 2).
  • Collective creative writing/listening session

Day 5

  • Performative exercise and children’s games as artistic strategies of collective image production (photo session 3).
  • Selecting images from the photo sessions and combining them with excerpts from the collective, creative writing session.
  • Final Presentation 


We kindly ask all participants to bring and wear plain colored and comfortable clothes without patterns or prints (no dinosaurs, no unicorns) f.e. blue shirt, green trousers or skirt, etc. Please bring water, snacks, and toys that the children could share in their off-time.

Maternal Fantasies is an interdisciplinary group of international artists and cultural producers based in Berlin. They shape the discourse on motherhood through collective artistic processes while enhancing the visibility of contemporary feminist positions addressing motherhood(s) in the arts. From writing autobiographical responses to classic feminist texts to devising performances using children’s games, their art practice favors inclusive community-oriented experiments as alternatives to traditional structures of art production. Bridging theory and practice, their strategy transforms research on motherhood(s), care work, and representation in the arts into frameworks for immersive modes of critique.

Current members of Maternal Fantasies are Aino El Solh, Hanne Klaas, Isabell Spengler, Lena Chen, Magdalena Kallenberger, Maicyra Leao, Mikala Hyldig Dal.

Maternal Fantasies are recipients of the Artist Advancement Award 2019/20 of the Arthur Boskamp-Stiftung.


Magdalena Kallenberger is a visual artist, researcher, and writer working across film, photography, and installation. She holds an MFA in Media Art and a BFA from the Berlin University of Arts. She served as professor of practice at the American University in Cairo (2016–2017) and lecturer for time-based media (2010–16) at the German University in Cairo. Since 2018, Kallenberger is a Ph.D. candidate at the Bauhaus University Weimar. She also is a fellow at the Bauhaus Research School and the Friedrich-Ebert Foundation. Her practice-based Ph.D. Re/Production: Chronopolitics, Affective Labor, Care, and the Maternal takes diverse forms of research materials as a starting point to (re-)position the maternal as a space of social, political, cultural, and economic conflict. 


Maicyra Leao e Silva is a professor at the Theater Department of the Federal University of Sergipe, Brazil currently on a sabbatical in Berlin. She holds a Ph.D. in Performing Arts and a Masters in Contemporary Art, working interdisciplinary between theater, performance art, and photography. Her practice-based research explores performance art in public spaces and collaborative methodologies in convivial situations. Within her collective and solo works, she has led socially engaged projects, as well as experimental artistic combinations, which have been awarded four grants by the Brazilian National Arts Foundation, and were performed along with Europe and Latin America. As a scholar, she published several articles in academic journals, especially in the Brazilian context. She completed a post-doctoral project at Freie Universität Berlin on motherhood and art. 

Run period:
13.09.2021 – 17.09.2021
Course time:
10.00 am – 3.00 pm
Application Deadline:

Course fee:
EUR 580

Min. number of participants:
Max. number of participants: